Author/Artist: chromatic_coma @ animusia
Character(s)/Pairing(s) [in this chapter]: England, Prussia, Canada, France, Hungary, South Italy, North Italy, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, America, Russia; eventual FrUK, eventual PrussCan, onesided (?) RussAmerica, more pairings tba
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Warning: Human names used, fail!attempts at humor, language
Summary: Arthur is a young screenplay writer and director who wants to make a name for himself, but will that be possible with a flirt like Francis Bonnefoy as his star?
Chapter Summary: Francis finds out how truly insane his fellow cast members are, and Alfred has to deal with his stalker.
Save the Drama for the Stage, Chapter 3
“Right, then, I assume you’ve looked at the script Tino sent you?”
"Alright, so you're playing the role of Aaron Curtis, the flirtatious young man who, upon meeting a gorgeous young girl, tries his hand at noble, high class society in order to impress her family and marry her."
Francis nods, flipping through the script with a critical eye. If Arthur is impressed by how suddenly serious the other is, he chooses to ignore it.
"Oui. But, I do have a question, monsieur. Would you say that Aaron is confident, or insecure? Parce que je-"
"In English, please, Mr. Bonnefoy." Arthur interrupted curtly. "And, for that matter, since this play takes place in London, I would like to request that you adjust your accent accordingly. As it stands, you're far too French to be believable."
Francis did not even try to mask the offense he felt, "That is because I am French."
"Yes, I understand, but Aaron Curtis is not French, and therefore I think it should be a given that you adopt British mannerisms and speech."
Of course, Francis had expected this; it was a given in this business to be as authentic as possible, after all. So it was not so much what Arthur was saying that upset him as it was the tone of voice in which it was said; the Frenchman could feel the underlying message of 'and, of course, there is the fact that everything is better English than French', and he was certain he did not appreciate it.
Still, it was only his first day of work, and to leave so early in the game would probably be detrimental to his career. After all, things had not worked out so well for him in Paris, and he could not afford to mess up again here.
So Francis found himself sighing under his breath, clenching the fist Arthur could not see before releasing it and smiling, speaking in his well practiced British accent, "Of course I would. In character, that is. Regardless of what you may believe, I am not an incompetent actor."
Arthur, once he recovered from the momentary shock of how authentically English this man could sound, flushed ever so slightly and snapped, "I never said a thing about your acting!"
"Non, mon cher, but the things we do not say are often just as important." Francis replied, and Arthur sensed that the confidence in his tone was his way of asserting his French pride. He bit his lip slightly, both from annoyance at being humiliated and more in frustration at how wise that line sounded. Already a part of his mind filed it away to be applied to a future screenplay, no doubt.
The silence that fell then was thick, and both men began to wonder what was being said in that. Neither found that he could derive an answer, but it was Arthur that looked away first.
"Well, I suppose there will be time for questions later. The rest of the cast and crew is waiting to meet you and begin today's rehearsal."
Without leaving time for Francis to say anything, the shorter blond started down the hall once more, taking the stairs down to the main floor and opening the auditorium door.
The stage was a litter of bodies, with people sprawled out all over in various states of being. From his place on the auditorium floor, Francis could see two men in the back working on sets, a red head who was singing rather off-key while slathering paint on a tarp, and a blond was a focused intently on building… something. A few meters away, a young man and a (beautiful, Francis could not help but note) woman were reading off of scripts, obviously in the middle of a heated argument. There were a few others laughing (some of them quite obnoxiously at that), but before Francis could check them out Arthur cleared his throat and the whole room fell silent.
“Good morning, everyone.”
There was a rough, completely unsynchronized mumble as an answer, but Arthur seemed used to it.
He didn’t comment, placing his papers on the table and picking up the teacup that was already there. He took a small sip of the steaming beverage before starting:
"Right then, I'd like to introduce you all to Francis Bonnefoy, the new male lead. Make him feel welcome.” Or something, Francis felt like that was hanging in the air, judging by Arthur’s tone, but was still relieved that he was not the only one who was going to make an effort to cooperate.
Within a few moments, Matthew had led Francis up to the stage and was currently introducing the cast members.
“This is Elizaveta Héderváry and Lovino Vargas,” he started, gesturing to the couple that had been acting out the fight. “She’s playing the female lead, Diana Clarke, and he’s playing her younger brother Lucas.”
“Hello there!” Elizaveta waved, giving Francis a charming smile. He winked back, only to have a tall, white haired man who’d been arguing with a child when Francis walked in, give a cold, distant laugh.
“Don’t waste your time, she’s taken. Engaged to the uptight, prissy musician, Roderich. “
“Don’t talk about him that way!” She protested, but the albino shrugged and jumped off the stage, extending a hand to the Frenchman.
“I’m Gilbert Weillschmidt, the awesomest actor in the room.”
“Oh?” Francis chuckled, raising and eye but shaking the offered hand nonetheless. “What role are you playing, then?”
“Dictator Kirkland refuses to give me one. Guess I’m just too awesome for this show.”
Francis somehow doubted that, but Matthew captured his attention once more as he pointed to the two set builders and introduced, “Feliciano Vargas is Lovino’s brother, and he’s in charge of all the artwork and painting the sets. The blond next to him is Gilbert’s brother Ludwig, who builds all the set pieces.”
“Hello there!” The young brunet called out, waving with his whole hand excitedly. Francis smiled as paint flew off the brush he was holding, before Ludwig grabbed his arm and coaxed him to calm down.
“Hey you! Potato bastard, let go of my brother!” Lovino exclaimed suddenly, waving his rolled up script threateningly in Ludwig’s direction.
“But nothing!!” Lovino called back angrily, and he continued to throw curses at Ludwig’s back as the other went back to sawing through 2 by 4s, shaking his head.
“Like, what is all this noise?”
Looking up, the Frenchman turned his attention to the curtain behind the stage, from which a frowning blond and a nervous brunet were peaking their heads.
Elizaveta turned quickly, “We’ve got another new Aaron. Introduce yourselves.”
The blond suddenly out into the crowd, and smiled perkily when he caught Francis’ eye.
“Oh, I totally heard about you from Tino! I’m Feliks. I, like, design everyone’s costumes and make sure you all look totally fab! And this is my partner, Toris.”
The brunet gave a soft wave, which Francis returned, before Feliks started again.
“So, like, we’re totally going to steal you in a few minutes and get you all measured and stuff, so be ready for it.” He said quickly, before he and Toris disappeared once again behind the mahogany curtain.
Francis doubted he could ever be ready for someone like Feliks; was that a skirt he saw around the man’s waist?
Matthew must have noticed his expression, as he started to explain, “Feliks is a good guy, he’s just a little… eccentric.”
Francis looked at the young male and smiled, “You certainly like to give people the benefit of the doubt, don’t you? It is highly endearing.”
As Matthew started to flush, Gilbert threw an arm over the boy’s shoulders and interrupted,
“So, Dictator Kirk, is it alright with you if I steal this guy away for his initiation?” He had his thumb pointing to Francis, but it was Matthew who flushed and slipped away from Gilbert’s hold. Francis noticed the brief look of disappointment on the albino’s face, one which quickly vanished when Arthur answered,
“Of course not, he’s got to rehearse.”
“Yeah, yeah, so, are you gonna give me a role in this dumb play or not?”
Arthur’s thick brows furrowed; Francis was torn between wanting to laugh and finding it… cute.
“When you put it that way, of course not.”
Gilbert surprised Francis by throwing himself at Arthur’s desk, though no one else seemed phased as they went back to what they’d been doing. “Please, please, pleeeeease? I could make this play awesome, pleeeease?”
Francis heard Elizaveta and Lovino snigger, and Ludwig stopped sawing to give a heavy sigh, but otherwise no one was paying attention.
Arthur rolled his eyes. “Fine, fine, you’ll get a part! You can be… a rock.”
“Yes. You’re the rock that Aaron and Diana sit on when she tells him of her parentage. Are you happy now?”
Gilbert didn’t need to answer that, the sheer size of the grin on his face was answer enough as he skipped off happily to go harass Feliks into making his costume.
“Well, they certainly are an interesting bunch of characters.” Francis commented, and Arthur rubbed at a forming migraine, forcefully gulping down another sip of tea.
“-And, all the way from Paris, come see Francis Bonnefoy in the first ever run of Distance, written and directed by Arthur Kirkland!”
The heat was starting to get to Alfred; when his mother first told him about going to work for Uncle Berwald’s theatre over his summer break, standing outside in the blistering summer heat (on the days where there was no rain, of course), was not exactly how he’d pictured his break.
That wasn’t to say that he hated his job, he mused as he took a gulp of hot, unsatisfying water. After all, he could be Fuzzybrow’s production monkey like his cousin Matt got roped into being. Thinking of that put everything into perspective, and so he grabbed his handouts once more off his box and went to the middle of the sidewalk, only to find someone was hunched over his sandwich board advertisement.
“The name of the main actor changed again, da? Did someone else run away?”
Alfred gritted his teeth, annoyed by the childish, seemingly innocent voice.
“Get the hell away from my sign, freak.”
“But the sign is meant for looking at, no? How else can I know what you’re talking about if I don’t read it?”
“The sign is meant to be looked at by people who actually want to go to the play, not weirdos who come every day for no reason!”
Ivan Braginski, Alfred’s rival since the day he arrived in London, tilted his head and smiled.
“I do have a reason for coming here.”
“And that would be…?”
Ivan giggled. He giggled. Alfred felt like he was going to be sick for a moment.
“It’s a secret~.”
Suddenly, the Russian stood up and waved his hand slightly. “I must go home to my sisters now. Maybe I’ll tell you someday, da? Goodbye, Alfred!”
The younger male stood in shock for a second, before shaking his hand and waving his fist, “And don’t come back, Ruski!”
But Ivan simply waved back, and when Alfred heard a group of local women giggling on his behalf, all he could do was rub his neck sheepishly and laugh it off.
But, he decided, he was going to get his revenge.
A/N: Poland's valley girl accent. I'm well aware it does not fit in with the setting of this story, both with regards to time and place, but please accept it as a stylistic choice. I have a hard time imagining Feliks without it. Also, I'm sorry it took me so long to get this up, but between my laptop troubles and my muse failing me, this way hard to write ^^;
Thank you all for reading!
Chapter 2 - Chapter 4